Canterbury Community Safety Partnership action plan

Our community safety action plan focuses support on areas of concern in the district.

Canterbury Community Safety Partnership (CSP) is made up of representatives from local organisations known as 'responsible authorities' who work together to help protect our district from crime and make people feel safer.

We work with organisations such as (but not limited to):

  • Kent Police
  • Kent Fire and Rescue Service
  • the NHS
  • Kent County Council
  • Canterbury Business Improvement District
  • local universities
  • street pastors
  • domestic violence and rape support organisations
  • housing support organisations
  • local businesses

Every year, we're responsible for completing something called a strategic assessment. The assessment looks at crime patterns and trends, anti-social behaviour, drug and alcohol misuse, and reoffending.

We then use this data to write a CSP action plan that sets out our priorities for the district and how we'll achieve them.

The action plan brings organisations together to understand local concerns and implement support to tackle issues, restore communities and support residents.

We review the plan every year to make sure our priorities are relevant and that they help keep the district a safe place. 

Action plan priorities

Disrupt serious and organised crime

This includes county lines and child sexual exploitation.

As a society we have moved from being in a period of change, consolidation, and adaptation post-covid to living with covid. Public services continue to see an increase in demand at the same time as budget constraints because of the cost of living crisis.

Local figures showed an increase in drug and sex offences, but a decrease in robbery, possession of a weapon, violent crime, criminal damage, theft and public order disturbances. Over the last year we've worked with partners, making referrals and signposting to support agencies. 

We will:

  • Hold an event focused on modern slavery and human trafficking
  • Continue to support the Zero Tolerance campaign
  • Run a substance campaign
  • Run community safety pop-ups
  • Hold neighbourhood engagement days
  • Provide a dedicated youth outreach project

Safeguarding and focus on vulnerable people

This includes Prevent duty - which safeguards people from becoming or supporting terrorists - drugs and alcohol, hate crimes, and domestic abuse.

The cost of living crisis is having a far reaching impact on communities across Kent, and Canterbury is no different; with an increase in the use of food banks amongst other services. This is likely to put a strain on safeguarding mechanisms with increased referrals because of the vulnerabilities associated with financial insecurity. We also continue to see an influence from Covid and the restrictions that were placed on society.

Supporting vulnerable people is a key priority for us; we work together across multiple forums to make sure people are safe.

One concern that has been highlighted is how adults with care and support needs might experience different types of, or more, abuse and neglect. This is on top of the existing demand, pressures and challenges associated with an ageing population, and how these combine to create more safeguarding enquiries and referrals.

Violence such as domestic abuse is hugely linked with violence outside of the home and family dynamic, and there is evidence to show that it is a factor in people being groomed into situations like radicalisation and county lines - especially vulnerable or isolated people, including those in prison. 

We all have a role in protecting vulnerable children, young people and adults from being drawn into terrorism; keeping Kent, Medway and the people here safe.

The aim of the Kent and Medway Prevent team is to reduce the threat from terrorism, radicalisation and extremism. Vulnerable people are the most likely to be coerced by gangs to carry out work, including involvement in county lines, drugs deliveries and distribution. We have worked with partners to make referrals and signpost to support agencies.

We will:

  • Explore the potential of a self-harm prevention panel, including a multi-disciplinary partnership
  • Champion domestic abuse project work and referrals
  • Support domestic abuse services, including Rising Sun Kent and Viola House  
  • Deliver training on neurodiversity to partners
  • Raise awareness and confidence in spotting the signs of domestic abuse, reporting it and referring concerns about radicalisation
  • Make sure our communications team know about the latest domestic abuse campaigns

Support young people

This includes higher and further education, intervention and referral to prevent harm, and Local Children's Partnership Groups (LCPGs). 

We are in the midst of a cost of living crisis, as well as adapting to living with Covid, and many families now have to live on a much reduced disposable income, resulting in fewer opportunities for young people.

Children and young people are disproportionately more likely to be victims of crime, particularly the most serious crimes. They often experience these crimes in their homes, schools and communities; in places, and sometimes by people, that should keep them safe.

We work with young people through youth inclusion programmes, schools, colleges and universities to promote awareness of the risks and impact it can have on their lives.

LCPGs bring a number of partner organisations together to improve outcomes for children and young people in Kent. They work collaboratively to understand and meet the needs of their local residents. The LCPGs have yearly district partnership priorities, an annual plan, and access to Early Help grant funding to support any improvements.

We will:

  • Create a dedicated programme to enhance opportunities for young people, including sports provision and the chance to access professional work spaces
  • Support mental health drop-in sessions in universities
  • Promote Safe Havens
  • Increase awareness that young people involved in criminal activities can also be victims of grooming or coercion
  • Revisit a knife amnesty and include the voices of young people in a project around Serious Violence Duty - this is crime involving anything from assault to murder

Night-time economy and violence

This includes violence against women and girls, and Serious Violence Duty - crime involving anything from assault to murder.

Canterbury’s nightlife covers a range of activities including pubs and bars, cafes, restaurants, cinemas, theatres, events and retail which create a vibrant and attractive city to visit. However, excessive consumption of alcohol and drugs can have health implications on people, as well as placing significant economic impact on services like the NHS, Police and Fire service.

As licensing authorities, councils play an important role in regulating the night-time economy. A clear vision for the night-time, underpinned by a statement of licensing policy, can go a long way to setting the right tone, but it is the partnership approaches which have been held up as being most effective.

Canterbury’s Purple Flag status was awarded for the 11th year in 2023. We continue to maintain a strong partnership amongst those working in the evening and night-time economy – a partnership which has strengthened through the pandemic.

During the past year, following the success of Safer Streets Funding 4, the community safety partnership continue to deliver safety initiatives across the early and night-time economy, including six Safe Havens available 24/7 and a further two open from 7am to 10pm seven days a week.

We will:

  • Promote safety campaigns including Zero Tolerance, Ask Angela and Connected Routes
  • Offer bystander training
  • Run targeted night-time operations, including a drugs campaign
  • Run night-time economy Safety Hubs
  • Enter the Best Bar None awards
  • Continue to support the Zero Tolerance training delivered by the Canterbury Business Improvement District

Disrupt anti-social behaviour

This includes environmental offences.

Anti-social behaviour (ASB) can make victims’ lives a living nightmare, causing stress, misery and despair. It can include (but is not limited to) low-level offences and can become a gateway to serious crime being committed by those who started committing ASB.

ASB also has an impact on communities as a whole, as it can often lead to the areas being neglected or degraded. The standard of living in an area is negatively affected, which destroys the spirit and pride of communities and makes people feel neglected and powerless. People begin to move from the area and businesses close down.

Our environment is one of the most valuable resources we have, with rural communities in particular relying on it for business, farming and tourism. Organised criminals attack rural environments in a variety of ways; from large scale illegal dumping to heritage crime, which has negative impacts on surrounding wildlife, livestock and communities.

We will:

  • Support and promote good neighbour campaigns
  • Be proactive in providing waste collection services for high-density student areas at the end of the academic year
  • Be proactive in enforcing Public Space Protection Orders
  • Continue to work with Kent Police to tackle environmental crime
  • Support Freshers Fairs and student-themed information 
  • Run targeted operations
  • Run pop-up Safety Hubs
  • Tackle graffiti